The Finest City in North America in Photos

For the past two years, I’ve pretty much been calling Quebec my home for photographing autumn. And I find myself having the urge to go back for thirds and fourths. After all Quebec has it all: beautiful architecture, rosy maples, and the romantic language we like to call French. When my cousin Sasidhar first talked about the city in awe, I said the city seems alright from your pictures, but I am in it for the maples. Well in the name of photographing maples, I found myself exploring one of North America’s oldest and most elegant cities in my “spare” time. The city actually dates back as far as 1535, but the founding of the city is of course noted as being in 1608 by renowned French explorer, Samuel de Champlain. It’s the only city north of Mexico with fully intact walls around it.

Where do you begin with a city like Quebec City? For me it had to be a view of the gorgeous, 130 year old Château Frontenac from the Parc du Bastion-de-la-Reine. So when my sister and I first stepped out of the hotel to explore the city, I made a beeline for this iconic view. My sister decided to enjoy the bench while I roamed around trying to view the area from as many different angles as possible.

After seeing the iconic view you would think that I would probably mark it off the list. Nope I’m not one of those people. I just had to come back the following day and sit there in my t-shirt and shorts, freezing might I add, so that I could catch a glimpse of the lights turning on over the city.

Moving on, I finally dragged my feet onto the boardwalk leading to the Chateau Frontenac. Well I went from dragging my feet to being stuck in one place again taking in the views. People don’t really build structures like this anymore.

And then I slowly made my way onto the cobblestone streets of the old town with many charming shops and restaurants.

Just when I thought I had seen it all and done it all, I came upon these steps leading down somewhere. Of course they were towered over by the Château Frontenac once more.

And at the bottom of those steps and the hill, would you believe it? There was another part to the old town with old European squares and some French architecture.

There were also some neat looking murals or dare I say fresco paintings?

quebec mural

And then there was Umbrella Alley with the sun shining down on the beautiful blue umbrellas. For some reason the umbrellas were there when we went in 2021, but not there in 2022 (maybe a local can chime in on why that’s the case)

We somehow scrambled our way up the steps again back to the upper part of the old town, to find the little square in front of the City Hall decorated with scarecrows and figurines that looked like they were straight out of a Tim Burton movie.

While heading back to our hotel just outside the old town walls, we almost always ran into the dazzling Quebec Parliament Building. On our second visit, the place looked like it was lit up in the spirit of Halloween.

 

During our second visit we were lucky enough to reserve a stay ahead of time at the Hilton Quebec City. The hotel features fabulous views of the old town as well as the parliament building.

Just looking at the old town walls from my hotel window at the Hilton Quebec City was a sight to see.

Of course it was fall during our visit so you can see all the autumnal colors from the window of our room.

The only down side to the city was in 2021. The worker shortage from resulting from the ongoing pandemic caused many restaurants to close down or have irregular opening times. Heck even McDonalds had early or complete closures that year. Of course the bright side of it was that we had the entire city for ourselves. 

The charms of Quebec of course don’t just end within the confines of the city, but extend far out of town. The multitude of nearby national parks and nature conservation areas make for some spectacular leaf peeping. Though honestly that is an article for another day.

What’s next for me when it comes to Quebec?

I can’t wait to return to Quebec for the Christmas markets and tobaganning from the Chateau Frontenac. Hopefully I will make it happen next year. If you are curious as to how it looks during that time of year, look no further than Iz Harris’s video on the topic:

 

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